2018 MEng Candidate - Will Dubin
Hi, I am Will - a 3rd Year student and Chair of the Civil Engineering Society. I am passionate about bridging gaps physically and metaphorically! In addition to my studies, I sit on Imperial’s Exploration Board and also help to run the Intercollegiate Engineering Alliance. I plan to head into the contracting side of Civil Engineering upon graduating.
Why did you decide to do your Undergraduate degree with us?
The Imperial Civil MEng degree is widely recognised as one of (if not the) best in the world, making it the ideal starting point for a career in the industry. Furthermore, it balances the theoretical and practical aspects very well, with field trips, site visits and talks on offer and group projects at every turn. Situated in London, where I was born and raised, means that opportunities of every kind are right on your doorstep. At Imperial, a STEM-based university, you will also be surrounded by like-minded individuals!
What does a typical week look like for you?
Mondays are for the most part spent in lectures and tutorials; in the afternoon I could head to the Civil Engineering department’s own library to finish off some problems and then in the evening perhaps go to a Yoga class offered as part of the Active Imperial Programme at the Ethos Sports Centre on campus.
Tuesday, more of the same - maybe a session in the fluids laboratory before heading to the weekly farmers’ market for lunch with some friends. In the evening, I might aim for a walk in Hyde Park before working with some friends in a study room booked at the library.
Wednesday, lectures are just in the morning. In the afternoon, potentially a site visit with the Civil Engineering Society to HS2 Euston Station or 22 Bishopsgate (2nd tallest building in London) or to 101 George Street (World’s Tallest Modular Tower) before hitting the pub with some mates and returning to the Union bar and nightclub (Metric) to enjoy a Sports Night.
Thursday, lectures in the morning with an extended lunch so we can attend a lecture of interest organised by the Civil Engineering Society hosting an external speaker or staff member to present research. Examples include the Technical Director for the New Chernobyl Confinement, the Head Planner for Crossrail 2, and the Chief Technical Officer for Tideway Tunnel. In the afternoon, I might have my elective module (Highways or Concrete Structures), more work in the library and perhaps dinner with a friend in the South Kensington area.
Friday, I may not have any lectures at all, and could enjoy a sleep-in, catch-up on some work and maybe head out for a long walk along the river, explore a new part of London or check out an exhibition. In the afternoon there may be a CivSoc committee meeting.
Saturday and Sunday, more of the same, with some time spent organising events for the coming week, seeing friends, maybe dropping into an Active Imperial session like 5-a-side, sending off a job or internship application or polishing off some coursework. Most importantly, getting some rest to prepare for another fast-paced week.
How have your skills developed, both professional and personal?
Professionally speaking, I have gained the technical expertise required for me to succeed in a career in the industry and first-hand experience of how to use software and employ technical equipment to do so. I have learnt how to work effectively as part of a team and how to deliver on challenging projects.
My summer placements thus far (assistant project manager at a small contractor, and Project Controls Engineer in the Project Management Office of the M4 Smart Motorway Project) have shown me that the degree has equipped me well to tackle “real-life” work both with a technical know-how and a general approach to working.
Personally, I have made lifelong friends and discovered what motivates and excites me to get out of bed in the morning. I have learnt that the impossible is possible and how to approach and tackle foreign concepts.
What do you enjoy most about studying in the Department?
The degree is constantly evolving year to year as the Department collaborates with students to incorporate feedback to ever-improve the student experience. The faculty are true experts in their field which is really inspirational; it is evident from the start that they are keen for you to succeed and it shows in their dedication to your learning. The community within the Department, from group projects within the class, across the year groups from trips and events held within the Department and even spanning to members of staff who often get involved is very special indeed.
What are you hoping to do after your studies?
I have an offer with a major contractor (Vinci Construction Grands Projects) and I hope to progress up to a project manager position before potentially doing an MBA and at some point, with any luck, establishing my own contracting firm.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Learning how to say no. There are just too many exciting opportunities that seem impossible to pass up, from hackathons to venture catalyst competitions to grant applications to society events; it is not always easy to turn these down and stay focussed on my primary objective at Imperial – my degree!
What have the highlights been so far?
There really have been so many, it is hard to pick: from placing in the final 10 candidates in the Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Awards (alongside two other classmates!), to achieving what at first seemed impossible in complex structural and Finite Element modelling courseworks, our team winning the tender we prepared in Construction Week, delivering successful detailed steelwork designs as a team within 2 days for the Steel Design Project, seeing the engineering and historical masterpieces of Seville on the Civil Engineering Society Tour to Spain, and coming in second place in the Telegraph STEM Awards innovation category, to name but a few. These are all memories I will cherish forever.
What advice would you give someone considering doing an MEng with us?
Are you excited about civil engineering? Want to be taught by and study with the best? Want to live in the greatest city on earth? Like the sound of unrivalled access to industry? Want a balance of the practical and theoretical? Do you want to be challenged? If you responded yes to all those, look no further!